Indie Films

Quirky, offbeat, charming -- indie films are great for kids, teens, and even adults who like something a little out of the ordinary when it comes to their entertainment. This list of our favorite independent movies has everything from heartwarming hand-drawn animation to emotional award winners. These alternative, artistic movies push the envelope when it comes to creativity and storytelling (although keep in mind that also means they can get a bit edgy). But each one is an excellent, unusual cinematic masterpiece unlike any other. For more indie picks and anime classics, check our list of Studio Ghibli movies.

Ernest & Celestine Poster Image
MOVIE

Ernest & Celestine

age 6+

Touching animated story celebrates unlikely friendships.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2014)
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Boy and the World Poster Image
MOVIE

Boy and the World

age 7+

Poignant hand-drawn story promotes family, environmentalism.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
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Wolfwalkers Poster Image
MOVIE

Wolfwalkers

age 8+

Lush, lyrical Irish folktale has dark moments, peril.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
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April and the Extraordinary World Poster Image
MOVIE

April and the Extraordinary World

age 9+

French steampunk tale for kids mixes science, adventure.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
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The Secret of Kells Poster Image
MOVIE

The Secret of Kells

age 9+

Magical animated adventure is intense but beautiful.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2010)
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The Painting Poster Image
MOVIE

The Painting

age 9+

Stunning animated drama tackles prejudice, forbidden love.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2013)
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Zarafa Poster Image
MOVIE

Zarafa

age 9+

Enchanting African fable with some scares and sadness.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
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Belle and Sebastian Poster Image
MOVIE

Belle and Sebastian

age 10+

Beautiful film about WWII has intense themes, drinking.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
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Paper Planes Poster Image
MOVIE

Paper Planes

age 10+

Thoughtful, inspired look at grief soars.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
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Phantom Boy Poster Image
MOVIE

Phantom Boy

age 10+

Poignant crime caper follows sick boy with ghostly ability.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
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The History of Future Folk Poster Image
MOVIE

The History of Future Folk

age 11+

Quirky indie sci-fi film has positive messages about music.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2013)
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Napoleon Dynamite Poster Image
MOVIE

Napoleon Dynamite

age 11+

One-of-a-kind high school comedy for the family.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2004)
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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Poster Image
MOVIE

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

age 12+

Magical, award-winning martial-arts fairy tale.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2000)
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A Girl Like Her Poster Image
MOVIE

A Girl Like Her

age 12+

Bullying drama is disturbing but should spark conversation.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
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Hunt for the Wilderpeople Poster Image
MOVIE

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

age 12+

Quirky Kiwi dramedy promotes teamwork, friendship.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
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Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made Poster Image
MOVIE

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

age 12+

Story of kids' labor-of-love Indy remake is fun, moving.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
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The Burial of Kojo Poster Image
MOVIE

The Burial of Kojo

age 13+

Beautiful indie drama from Ghana has some violence.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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The Cleaner Poster Image
MOVIE

The Cleaner

age 13+

Earnest indie drama has some violence, heavy themes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
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The Last Black Man in San Francisco Poster Image
MOVIE

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

age 13+

Painful portrait of gentrification in extraordinary indie.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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Loving Vincent Poster Image
MOVIE

Loving Vincent

age 13+

Gorgeous, hand-painted images + pulpy murder story.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2017)
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